The out LGBTQ+ England Lionesses playing in the Women’s Euro 2025 qualifiers

Out LGBTQ+ England Lioness footballers Bethany England (left), Rachel Daly (centre) and Jess Carter (right)

The Women’s European Qualifiers for Euro 2025 begin on Friday (5 April), and defending champions England, who won in 2022 and who have man LGBTQ+ players, will face off against Sweden at Wembley Stadium.

It follows an impressive 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup run for the Lionesses. The 2023 Women’s World Cup saw a record 32 teams compete for football’s biggest prize in Australia and New Zealand throughout July and August 2023, with the final between England and Spain taking place on 20 August – Spain triumphed.

It marked England’s first Women’s World Cup final and came after the Lionesses defeated Australia’s Matildas – another team with an inspiring number of out LGBTQ+ players – 3-1 in the semi-final.

Women’s professional football has long bested the men’s game when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation – and both the 2023 Women’s World Cup and Euro 2025 qualifiers are no exception, with a record number of out LGBTQ+ footballers taking to the pitch.

England football players Rachel Daly and Millie Bright celebrate making the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup final with victory over Australia in the semi-final at Stadium Australia on August 16, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Maryam Majd/Getty Images)
England forward Rachel Daly and captain Millie Bright celebrate making the 2023 Women’s World Cup final. (Maryam Majd/Getty)

To celebrate the England national women’s football team kicking off the Euro 2025 qualifiers against Sweden, here’s your handy guide to the LGBTQ+ England Lionesses and who they’re currently dating.

Rachel Daly – retired

England Lioness Rachel Daly poses during the official FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 portrait session on July 18, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Justin Setterfield - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
England and Aston Villa star Rachel Daly played as a forward at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. (FIFA/Getty)

Rachel Daly is a formidable presence on the pitch, with experience playing both as a defender and a forward – she played the the latter position during the World Cup.

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Her position up front might have something to do with her goal-scoring form: She put away a staggering 22 goals in the 2022–23 Women’s Super League season, winning the Golden Boot and equalling Arsenal star and fellow out player Vivianne Miedema’s record for the most goals scored in a single season.

The Aston Villa star previously played in the US for Houston Dash and was part of the England Lionesses 2022 Euros-winning squad that summer. She made her World Cup debut in Australia and New Zealand after previously playing for England during two qualifying matches for the 2019 tournament.

Daly did play in one Euro 2025 qualifier: against Ireland as a substitute, helping England to a 2-0 victory, but after that game she announced her retirement from international football. So sadly she has become an ex-Lioness. However, her legacy as a footballer definitely means she still deserves a place in this list!

Rachel Daly is currently in a relationship with Aston Villa teammate Sarah Mayling

Rachel Daly is currently dating her Aston Villa teammate Sarah Mayling – a defender.

She previously dated Manchester United player Millie Turner, they got together in 2021.

Turner is a fellow pro footballer who has played as a defender for Manchester United since 2018.

Turner was in the stands to support Daly and the rest of the England Lionesses during their 2-1 victory victory over Germany in the Euros final last summer, with Daly sharing an adorable picture of the pair embracing moments after the win on Instagram: the photo has since been deleted.

Daly has previously expressed her hope that the men’s game will catch up with the women’s when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation.

“I think they’ll get there”, Daly told the Daily Mail following England’s Euros win in 2022. “It’s a generational thing, some older people [have a problem with it]. But it’s more common now to accept it and be OK with it.

“I think they’ll lose the stigma eventually.”

Jess Carter – defender

England Lioness Jess Carter reacts during a training session at Sunshine Coast Stadium on July 15, 2023 in Sunshine Coast, Australia, ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 (Photo by Naomi Baker - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
England defender Jess Carter is in a relationship with her Chelsea teammate Ann-Katrin Berger. (The FA/Getty)

Defender and midfielder Jess Carter made her England debut in 2017 at the age of 20.

The Warwick-born athlete, who also hold American citizenship, joined Chelsea from Birmingham City in 2018 and is contracted to stay with the London club until 2025.

She was part of the England team during the squad’s 2022 Euros victory and made her World Cup debut in Australia and New Zealand.

Jess Carter’s partner is her Chelsea teammate Ann-Katrin Berger

Jess Carter is currently dating her Chelsea teammate and Germany national squad member Ann-Katrin Berger – which made for a unique dynamic during the Euros final between England and Germany last summer.

Carter reflected on her relationship with Berger and LGBTQ+ issues in football in an op-ed for England Football to support Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign in 2021.

“I think I was – and probably still am – more comfortable than Ann is with publicising our relationship”, Carter said at the time. “But that is just because Ann is a very private person whereas I am more of a ‘the whole world could know and I wouldn’t really care’ kind of person.

“Over time and because I will say whatever, she has kind of got used to it and goes with it. She doesn’t shout from the rooftop about it but equally when she is asked it is not a secret either.”

While stating that she hadn’t “experienced any negative treatment personally” as an out LGBTQ+ woman in the women’s game, Carter conceded that some players still might not be comfortable coming out publicly and sharing their sexuality with the world.

“I think for a lot of people it might depend on your profile, for example if you are a bigger name player then you might get more scrutiny on it,” she noted. “Also, if your family are not as comfortable about it then it might be harder to make it so public. 

“So I think it depends on each person’s private situation. And equally they might just simply view it as it is nobody else’s business so might not want to say. So there could be a lot of reasons but whatever the situation, we should respect each other.”

Bethany England – forward

England Lioness Bethany England during a media session on July 18, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia, ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 (Photo by Naomi Baker - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
England forward Bethany England plays for Tottenham Hotspur. (The FA/Getty)

Another England Lioness who repped for the LGBTQ+ community at the 2023 FIFA World Cup is forward Bethany England, who was named the Women’s Super League’s Player of the Year for the 2019-2020 season.

The Barnsley-born Tottenham Hotspur star has previously played for Doncaster Rovers Belles, Liverpool and Chelsea and was first called up to play for the England national squad in 2019.

Another veteran of the Lionesses’ triumphant 2022 Euros campaign, England made her World Cup debut in Australia and New Zealand.

Bethany England’s parter is Oxford United footballer Stephanie Williams

Bethany England’s partner Stephanie Williams is a fellow professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Oxford United.

England and Williams regularly share images of themselves together on social media, with England dedicated an Instagram post to her partner on Valentine’s Day earlier this year.

A vocal champion of LGBTQ+ visibility in sport, England also shared a picture of herself with Williams during Pride Month in 2020 with a heart and rainbow emoji, declaring in the caption “Proud of who I am.”

Lauren Hemp – forward

England Lioness Lauren Hemp poses during the official FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 portrait session on July 18, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Justin Setterfield - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Manchester City star and England forward Lauren Hemp made her World Cup debut in Australia and New Zealand. (FIFA/Getty)

Turning 23 during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Lauren Hemp is one of the youngest and brightest stars in Sarina Wiegman’s squad and another out LGBTQ+ England Lioness.

The Norfolk-born forward has played for Manchester City since 2018 – the year she helped England’s under-20 team finish third at the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Named one of UEFA’s 10 players to watch in 2020, Hemp has proved a key part of the England team over the last couple of years, and was part of the heroic effort that saw England lift the 2022 Euros trophy with a 2-1 win over Germany last summer.

In fact, it was Hemp’s corner that set up Chloe Kelly to score the winning second goal at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Lauren Hemp’s partner is Coventry United footballer Ellie Butler

As of 2022, LGBTQ+ Lioness Lauren Hemp was in a relationship with another professional footballer, Ellie Butler, who plays as a forward for Women’s Championship club Coventry United.

When is the England vs Sweden Women’s Euro 2025 qualifier and how can I watch it?

The Lionesses match will be shown on ITV1 & STV, at 8pm on Friday (5 April).

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